(Guest Post) Neil Turok Responds to Posts on Perimeter Institute
Thank you for this opportunity to respond to your recent blog posting on Perimeter Institute and offer some clarifications.
- First, the comparisons of support for different institutions and programs presented in this posting mix total funding over time (including endowment contributions) with annual budgets and ignore substantial differences between their operations. For example, Perimeter Institute currently houses over 140 full-time trainees and researchers (from Masters students to senior faculty) whereas to my knowledge the Fields Institute has none.
- Second, this blog post juxtaposes received funding with cultural events at Perimeter and implies that public monies are used to support ancillary activities, which is not accurate. Cultural and social events are supported through paid ticketing as well as private donations. Public funds are strictly allocated to the purpose for which they are intended: to support the research, training and educational outreach programs of the Institute.
In closing, let me emphasize that Perimeter Institute takes very seriously its commitment to promoting basic scientific research in a collaborative manner with universities and other institutions across Ontario and Canada. In this context, Perimeter serves as an example of a successful public-private partnership which is helping to energize and strengthen the entire scientific community.
Director, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics